Trapped motorists consider lawsuit

HALIFAX, N.S. — A snowstorm that trapped hundreds of travelers on the Cobequid Pass could result in a lawsuit for the company in charge of a Nova Scotia toll road.

Halifax lawyer Ray Wagner said his firm — Wagners — is considering launching the class-action lawsuit because of the "inconvenience, and personal and financial losses that occurred on the Cobequid Pass," reported The Chronicle Herald.

For now, the law firm is trying to gauge just how much interest is out there amongst the people who were affected, and the merits of their claims. Whether or not the lawsuit goes forward will depend on what is uncovered.

The suit could be filed against either the Highway 104 Western Alignment Corp., which administers the toll road; or the province, which is responsible for plowing it. Wagner hopes to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to pursue the lawsuit.

Overall, about 1,500 vehicles were stranded when an unexpected snowstorm last week forced traffic on Highway 104 to be closed in both directions. Vehicles were stuck on the route for 16 hours during the delay.

Following the fiasco, Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott apologized to the stranded motorists and admitted concern with the lack of services.

The province also said it would put electronic message boards at both ends of the Pass, as well as Truro, N.S. and the New Brunswick border. Emergency kits will also be placed at strategic points along the roadway for future use.

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